In the 1970s and 1980s, the corporate takeover market began to surge. As a means to continue to enhance corporate wealth and leadership, growth through mergers or acquisitions flooded the corporate environment. Although such mergers and acquisitions had existed for decades, the mid-1970s led the multibillion-dollar hostile takeover race. This was followed by a surge in the 1980s of the leveraged buyout, a derivative of the takeover, culminating with the most noted leveraged buyout of its time, the $25 billion buyout of RJR Nabisco by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 1989.

A leveraged buyout, most broadly, is the acquisition of a company using a significant amount of debt to meet the acquisition cost. Arguably, the increase in leveraged buyouts in the 1980s was partly due to greater access to the high-yield debt markets (so-called junk bonds), pioneered by Michael Milken. Access to such aggressive types of lending allowed buyers to borrow more money to fund such large acquisitions. The more debt borrowed, the less equity needed out-of-pocket, leading to potentially higher returns. This concept of higher returns for less equity sparked interest among many funds and even individual investors, and extended worldwide. From buyouts of small $10 million businesses to the recent $25 billion potential buyout of Dell, small investors, funds, and enthusiasts alike have been fascinated by the mechanics, aggressiveness, and high-return potential of leveraged buyouts.

This book seeks to give ...

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